Sunday, April 16, 2017

The "Mother" of all Bombs: a reflection of a woman's worth?

"If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or 'our' country, let it be understood, soberly and rationally between us, that you are fighting to gratify a sex Instinct which I cannot share;  to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share; but not to gratify my instincts, or protect either myself or my country.  For, the outside will say, in fact, as a woman, I have no country.  As a woman I want no country.  As a woman, my country is the whole world..."  --Virginia Woolf

"The mother of all bombs, the mother of all bombs, the mother of all bombs, the mother of all bombs;"  the words echoed in my brain and I changed the news channel.  But the mother of all bombs echoed and re-echoed on all the news stations.  I shut the news off but the words continued to haunt me.  The words bounced around in my mind till I wanted to scream.  It's just words.  Yet words have meaning and the ability to describe a reality; not my reality but a reality.

 Mothers bring forth life.  Bombs destroy life.  Why do most men thrill to the missile launch of deadly weapons?  The description of missiles and bombs seems to play upon a male's erotic or is it sadistic view of the world?  Death and destruction while enjoying one's dinner.  Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.  Oh wait bombs don't have any guarantees other than destruction, capitalism at its finest.  Bombs are like the bully at the beach who gets enormous satisfaction from stomping the castle you built into oblivion.  Only these kind of bombs not only stomp out the castle, they blow away lives into oblivion.  And while it supposedly blows away the enemy, it also causes "collateral damage."  Yes, collateral damage means it also kills civilians: men, women and children who are just bystanders in a world gone mad.

Normally a mother does not destroy others unless her babies are threatened.   One never gets between a mother bear and her cubs because mothers protect their young.  Bombs do not protect, they destroy.  Are we humanizing an object to make it more palatable to the American public?  Or are we using the word in a fit of rage, like how males tend to use the word, mother f-ker?  Do Americans hate mothers so much that they equate mothers as a force of destruction or an epitaph to be thrown at others in fits of rage?

Maybe this imagery explains in some ways, why women, as mothers, are treated so poorly in our society.  Pregnant women are expected to be employed until the day they go into labor.  And then afterwards expected to go back to their jobs as soon as possible.  They are expected to work 8-10 hours a day, go home take care of children and do a mountain of housework.  Should we wonder why women get postpartum depression? Having had the luxury of staying home when my children were little, I can't imagine doing all that and coping with for example a baby that is up all night from teething or fevers.  What man would put up with such demands on their life?

Women have become slaves to a society that gives them little to no value as contributing members of society.  Our society does not even value women enough to give them equal pay.  It is usually women who give up a job to stay home with the kids.  And they pay for that economically, in lower social security payments when they retire.  When they go back to employment they have lost seniority and many benefits that are derived from steady employment.

But more to the point of this blog regarding human milk component patents, our society is now collecting human milk from women.  Compensation is pitiful, a mere token of its value in the biotech marketplace.  Women donate their milk because marketing campaigns explain that premature infants need donor milk.  No one asks why their mothers are not providing that milk or why its not enough milk?  Nor do mothers ask how much of their donated milk goes to premature infants, how much for research, how much for products and patents that enrich industry.  The breastfeeding community through social media continues to exhort mothers to donate their milk without regard to what this really means.  And US breastfeeding organizations seem unaware of patenting or unwilling to make it part of any real discussion.  Heaven forbid women question donating human milk.  Yet to me this represents a form of female slavery and an invasion of privacy (because what some researchers are after is DNA, genes to manipulate, to patent, to own, to monopolize in the marketplace).

Like the Mother of all bombs, we mothers are destroyed by the actions of a society who believes that life is to be manipulated.  We are used to self-destruct as well as to destroy others.  But that isn't mothers.  We are not the destructive force on this planet.  We are used to promote a viewpoint of world domination through the pillaging and rape of our planet.  Dismissing the ability of women to sustain life through their milk, creates the need for a substitute product.  We are the ultimate natural resource that this culture is destroying.
Copyright 2017 Valerie W. McClain

The Pharm Woman Patent that started the mad race to genetically engineer human milk components to improve infant formula.

Patent #4977137 owned by Baylor College of Medicine, filed in 1987 and entitled, "Lactoferrin as a dietary ingredient promoting the growth of the gastrointestinal tract."    

The patent states, "A substantial growth of the intestines of newborn animals takes place in the first one to three days after birth. For example, in newborn pigs who are nursed by the mother, there is a substantial growth, approximately eight to ten inches, of the intestines of the infant within the first few days after birth. In a large number of human newborns, who are not nursed by the mother but are placed on an infant's formula, this growth of the gastrointestinal tract during the first few days may not occur, and, as a result, the infant is predisposed to chronic intractable diarrhea which must be managed for a period of three or more months at considerable expense and discomfort to the infant."

And the patent goes on to explain:

"The present invention is based upon the discovery that milk lactoferrin as a dietary ingredient promotes the growth of the gastrointestinal tract when added to infant formula or given separately from the formula and thus reduces the occurrence of chronic diarrhea and may assist in the management of short-gut syndrome and avoids, at least to some extent, chronic intractable diarrhea of the infant. The lactoferrin may be from a nonhuman animal or human source. The milk containing the lactoferrin should not be processed, such as by pasturization or the lactoferrin processed, extracted, or purified by a process which destroys the effectiveness of the lactoferrin."

In the year 2000 Baylor College of Medicine filed another patent called, "Production of recombinant lactoferrin and lactoferrin polypeptides using cDNA sequences in various organisms."  patent # 6635447

From the patent (recombinant means genetic engineering-recombining genes):

"The recombinant LF being a protein derived by recombinant techniques can be used in a variety of applications. The human gene can be transferred to mammalian systems such as cows and other agriculturally important animals and expressed in milk. The incorporation of a human lactoferrin gene and expression in the milk of animals can combat an iron deficiency typical in piglets. The inclusion of the human lactoferrin gene with expression should improve an animal's disease resistance to bacterial and viral infection. The tissue specific expression of human lactoferrin in mammary glands, for instance, would impart the bacteriocidal and virucidal benefit of the expressed gene to young feeding on the milk and would provide a production means for the secreted protein for therapeutic use."